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    Couche-Tard Acquires 24 Units In Gulf Region

    Some Stop-n-Save stores to be re-branded Circle K.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s Circle K Stores Inc. subsidiary has agreed to purchase 24 stores in the Monroe region of Louisiana from Moore Oil Co. LLC. The transaction is expected to close in July, according to the operator of nearly 5,000 convenience stores in North America. The purchase price was not disclosed.

    With the acquisition, Couche-Tard's Florida and Gulf Division will include 545 stores, with 146 in Louisiana. "These stores are located on highly visible and well-traveled roads and occupy strategic locations within their respective trade area," said Mick Parker, vice president, operations, for the division. "Strategically, these acquisitions would be an excellent fit with our current network in the Northern Louisiana market and would complement our expansion and growth plans in both the Louisiana and Florida-Gulf region."

    Moore's Oil's convenience stores operate under the Stop-n-Save banner. Six stores are company-operated, one is under construction, and 17 are dealer-operated sites. The company's 2005 fuel volume was approximately 32 million gallons, generating revenue of about $60 million, on which a commission is paid to its dealers. Fifteen of the stores offer Shell-branded gasoline, three Exxon, one Chevron. Five are unbranded.

    In addition, 10 of the sites feature Subway and Quizno's quick-serve restaurants operated under franchise agreements. Space at one store is leased to a KFC franchisee. The chain also operates 12 drive-through car washes at its c-store locations.

    The company-operated stores will fly the Circle K banner and the gas brands will remain intact. The chain will buy the land and buildings for 20 locations and will lease the other four.

    Trefethen & Company, LLC served as financial advisor to Couche-Tard. Moore Oil was represented by Pete and John Stribling of Stribling Realty Corp., Jackson, Miss.

    Alimentation Couche-Tard is the largest c-store operator in Canada. In North America, it is the third-largest convenience retailer and second-largest independent operator. Of Couche-Tard's 4,983 convenience stores, 3,085 offer motor fuels. Some 36,000 people are employed throughout Couche-Tard's retail convenience network and executive offices.

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